PRINT October 1993

Democracy, Inc.

Andrew Ross' Weather Report

When I first started writing this column I promised a friend, who knows my fickle ways, that I wouldn’t write about art, and this article is no exception. Or is it? If you live in SoHo, as I do, you would have to be psychotic not to recognize daily how the interests of the “art world” are still quite fully identified with this tightly zoned area of downtown Manhattan. Here, the interests of real estate, tourism, and the gourmet retail trade feed off the ever bounteous platter of symbolic capital served up by Art’s self-generating veneer. “Artistic license” goes a long way in the space of a few short blocks. As a result, SoHo, like the Central Business Districts of Wall Street and Midtown, is both of the city and not of it. Unlike the CBDs, SoHo’s privileged air of exemption is seen to be earned by serving some god other than Mammon. By now, everyone knows the heroic narrative of the

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